U.S. Conference of Mayors Smart Cities Workshop Recap
Mayors across the country are working together to accelerate the implementation of smart technologies, policies, and strategies for making American cities better places to live, work, and visit. Venture Smarter is proud to support that effort across cities and regions nationwide, and we were excited to share our efforts, challenges, and opportunities to collaborate with mayors at the 2018 US Conference of Mayors annual meeting. As evidenced by the standing room only crowd at the Smart Cities Workshop, smart technologies are a crucial piece of future local development.
One of the key takeaways from the workshop was that human infrastructure is the greatest investment a city can make. Most cities don’t feel properly equipped to use the data they collect; building talent within departments is how this issue can partly be alleviated. It is critical that the talents of smart cities professionals are brought together so as to create a network and identify relevant players in the field.
Austin, TX Mayor Steve Adler served as the workshop’s moderator. Adler acknowledged that the public sector lags behind the private sector when it comes to implementation. According to Adler, the crucial challenge for the public sector is that there are usually only one or two people per city that are focused on smart city development, whereas as private companies have entire teams focused on the same kind of problems. This is why collaboration among cities is critical. When cities work together, small public sector teams can pool their efforts and disperse the impact of their work across cities, therefore leading to the scaling of resources.